Shine - a collage about confidence

Shine – Collage About Authenticity and Confidence

Shine is about us. It’s about who we are, inside, and who (or what) we’ve pretended to be.

Yes, sometimes pretense is about privacy and a sense of personal safety. It feels like protection.

Sometimes, pretense is just for fun. The aspects – or even complete identities we adopt, even briefly – can actually reveal nuances others might not have seen. (Or perhaps they saw glimmers of them, and weren’t sure what they were seeing.)

We’re multi-dimensional people. Sometimes one side is highlighted while another is hidden, accidentally or on purpose.

I like to think that the world is changing. I want to believe we’re emerging from the default of categorizing people with tidy labels.

There’s no time in which a single label reflects the full person – their strengths and vulnerabilities, and their uniqueness. Labels prevent us from learning from one another and experiencing true connections.

Some people step onto the stage and embrace the attention. They can read the audience and respond. Is there such a thing as “authentic pretense”?


Others, including me, know we’ll be judged, and perhaps unfairly. We adopt stage personas, muttering, It’s show time, before we step into the spotlight. And then, after the performance, we bolt to the safety of a green room or dressing room.

Many of the elements in this collage were chosen deliberately. Others were entirely intuitive.

The makeup tray is about race and equality.

The woman, looking slightly timid, and the lower legs in the red image to the left of her… that’s about finding courage. Not staying hidden.

The rest, and how you interpret this, is up to you.

It’s one of those days when I realize my art may reveal more about me than most people will see, if they meet me in real life.

Size: 8.5″ x 11″

Materials: Poster board, torn magazine images and words, Yes Paste